Not so breaking news

The EIR Notice of Preparation is here. Guidelines for the CEQA (EIR) process can be found here.

The informal selection of Victory Court as the preferred ballpark site has been the worst kept secret in Oakland for several weeks now, and we’ve known about the Planning Commission meeting since last week. So why are the regular media choosing to cover it now (EBX/Trib)? Must be a slow news day.

Still, there are a few takeaways, and credit goes to Robert Gammon in that regard. Mostly, they have to do with Mayor-elect Jean Quan’s view of the project, which is more meaningful than anything any other Oaklander, elected or not, has to say on it.

  • MLB’s commission wants a ballpark done for Oakland in time for Opening Day 2015. This is reasonable considering the normal 18-24 month EIR lead time, which could actually go longer because of Oakland’s recent history with large project EIR’s. Given Lew Wolff’s admission that he has been denied further extensions to the Coliseum lease, it leads to wondering about how a gap between the end of the 2013 season and the start of the 2015 season would play out. Is Oakland holding that extra year as leverage with the idea of pushing MLB in its direction? Is MLB entertaining Oakland’s bid in order to secure that extra year or perhaps more if necessary? Beyond those two parties, there are even more interesting questions. If the Raiders secure their own Coliseum stadium deal, won’t that impact an A’s 2014 year in the Coliseum, and vice-versa?
  • Quan said she also believes a new ballpark at Victory Court will help businesses in closeby Chinatown and could provide the impetus for a new hotel/convention center. It’s strange that the big unifying development strategy for all of downtown Oakland is a ballpark. It makes sense for a ballpark to be a major attraction, but the linchpin? That doesn’t make sense. However, that’s the direction that Oakland is moving towards with this hole-in-the-donut strategy. What if the ballpark doesn’t pan out? That doesn’t mean that Oakland will be ready to go with Plan B, whatever that is. It’s one thing for corporate interests to help pay for a ballpark. That’s not going to happen with a convention center complex. Those projects are usually 100% public/redevelopment funded. From a purely numbers/potential standpoint, a ballpark makes sense because it’s essentially “free” money and buzz, especially if the financing part can be worked out. Something else in the ballpark’s place could take many more years to get going.
  • Quan believes that the only way Major League Baseball would turn down Wolff and Fisher’s request to move the team to San Jose is if the City of Oakland shows that it has a viable plan for a new A’s ballpark and that city leadership is committed to making it happen. If true, this spawns a number of new questions about MLB’s timeframe. Will they set a hard date to complete the EIR and land acquisitions? Will MLB set targets or milestones for the project? What if Oakland doesn’t meet those milestones, or new challenges or opposition shows up? Could MLB create for itself an easy out if things aren’t going well? What constitutes fair or unfair is almost entirely subjective.
  • In another Gammon article about Quan, it was noted that as part of Quan’s “Not Don” campaign, a mailer “repeatedly pounded Perata for the Oakland Raiders deal, a financial debacle that will end up costing East Bay taxpayers more than $600 million. At least two mailers, showed a mostly empty Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, with the message: ‘Thanks, Don.’ ”  The challenge for Quan is to show that she can more competently get a stadium deal done than Perata. The key to this is transparency at every stage of the process. Since the original four sites in May were whittled to one with no public vetting and at least a few commenters will chime in on 12/1 with their own recommendations, it’ll be fascinating to see how the preferred site and alternatives are handled. Will all buildable sites have to be included in the EIR? What if the EIR actually recommends a different alternative to Victory Court (unlikely but still)? The dagger in the Fremont plan was the abrupt change from Pacific Commons to Warm Springs, with no public input beforehand. In San Jose, the Diridon site was not the frontrunner at the outset and only became the preferred site over time. From a selling the public standpoint, how warm are the citizens of Oakland to any stadium deal, even one that has the team picking up the entire construction tab? We’ve seen a Facebook group, we have yet to see a single poll on the subject.

While we’re waiting for the process to kick off, I’ve found a couple of nuggets that might be helpful. First up, a cursory look at the California EPA’s Cortese list shows that none of the parcels at Victory Court fall under brownfield or contaminated status.

victory-ct-project-area

Source: Project EIR Notice of Preparation

One of the more curious aspects of the project is the land grouping, including the Laney College parking lot. While it makes sense for the ballpark to use the Laney lot as part of its parking infrastructure, it’s also quite possible that like the Diridon plan, there could be no parking at the ballpark at all. If there’s no parking at the ballpark, there’s also less environmental impact from the ballpark. That doesn’t mean that the 880 on/off-ramps won’t need improvements, but it could mean that the cost for those improvements won’t be as severe as they could be. Instead, fans would be encouraged to park at Laney (expanded or not), downtown, or at JLS. It’s only one of many details that will have to be addressed as part of the process.

120 thoughts on “Not so breaking news

  1. @ML–one of the important points that you mentioned in the hole in the donut post but don’t mention here is “One bit of concern: the presenters only lightly went over costs. It’s easy to be for this when there’s no price tag attached for the land acquisition and infrastructure costs. It appears that the stance is that such details will only be discussed or explored if MLB chooses Oakland. Considering what has been made public for the other two cities, that’s at best a double-edged sword.”

    Nothing has changed in this regard….and you have got to believe that MLB is well aware of the costs and acquistion challenges for VC….and thats assuming that there wouldn’t be any public investment in order to make the deal work when compared to SJ…..not to mention that Quan also needs to supposedly negotiate a new stadium for the Raiders—bet Amy T. appreciated those campaign mailers–

    I have a hard time believing that after 2 years (actually 15 but who’s counting) MLB is going to defer to Oakland when they are already well aware that VC is not economically feasible for the city of Oakland-

  2. For the Trib article:’

    “The city also is taking another major step toward the Victory Court plan by launching the environmental impact report process and is requesting public input. Comments should be directed to Peterson Vollman in the Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

    Once the report is completed, Oakland will be neck-and-neck with San Jose, where A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher want to relocate the team. A completed report would deprive San Jose of one of its arguments for putting the A’s in Santa Clara County. Their battle to move the A’s to San Jose is further complicated by the fact that the San Francisco Giants have territorial rights in the South Bay.”

    Whaaaaa??!!

  3. @Pacifico – Yeah, that’s a facepalm moment. Some reporters lead cheers.

    @GoA’s – None of the land costs will be revealed until parties start negotiating. The EIR can only touch on the infrastructure stuff. You guys can pooh-pooh Oakland all you want, the process still should be followed. Even if SJ is given the green light. I would’ve preferred that we were further along at this point, but I’m not running the show.

  4. I’m very confused by Quan’s sudden support of VC…this seems to be political suicide to just suddenly win a very close election then all of a sudden dive into the murky waters of a sports complex with convoluted public support and funding when there are prevalent crime and welfare issues throughout Oakland. Could this strange timing be precipitated by MLB somehow? Are we finally close to a BRC decision as the owners meeting convenes next month? Or is she just posturing her position with her supporters to show that she tried, because as she confesses, SJ will most likely be selected.

  5. i’m just tired of all speculation. can’t wait until the owners meetings and finally something close to being anywhere near concrete is announced regarding the future home of the a’s.

    at this time, i hope it’s sj. even as an oaklander sj probably is the best bet to keep the a’s here in the bay area and especially if a park is built, it’ll finanically a great situation for the a’s.

  6. In regards to the “gap year” – 2014 – I have a few questions:

    a.) Is there any precedent for two major league teams sharing the same stadium for an entire year? (If the A’s shared AT&T for a year while a new Oakland/SJ park was being finished).

    b.) Could you foresee MLB using the “gap year” as an opportunity to showcase a potential future market, a la the Expos and San Juan/Bithorn Stadium?

    If I recall, many players hated it when the Expos had “home games” in two different sites that were in different countries, far away. And exploring a new market for one year requires that market to already have a tolerable stadium in place, which rules out Portland or San Antonio.

    It seems to me like it would be a pretty big mess if the A’s are forced out the Coli after 2013 and don’t have new digs until 2015. What do you think? Would the Giants/MLB let them lease AT&T for a year?

  7. @nsj: Regarding your 1st question; The Yanks played at Shea while Yankee Stadium I was being rebuilt. The Angels also played at Dodger Stadium while waiting for the Big A to be completed. I have no idea if the Giants would invite the A’s to crash for 1-2 seasons, but I’m sure everything has a price.

  8. i can’t see the A’s playing in SF at all. I predict a lease agreement for 2014 @ the coliseum. I’m so glad Quan is mayor.

    @ST – you have crime, unemployment and welfare in SJ too. These stereotypes are so tired. SF, has crime, unemployment and welfare too. What they do “better” than Oakland is protect their brand. When crime happens in SF, they always let you know it was in: The Filmore, Western Addition or Hunters Point. Most folks know where the (majority) of crime in Oakland happens. The city of Piedmont, is surrounded on all sides by Oakland. They have very low crime, great schools and property values that would make residents of Atherton blush! We have plenty of money and plenty corporate power from: the delta down to southern Alameda Co. and out into the tri-valley.

  9. like how the trib says all Oakland needs to do is complete an EIR and then they are equal with SJ—are they for real? SJ owns 80% of the land, has the money to complete the process, has a naming rights sponsor of $120M already committed, has been working with the neighborhoods to achieve concensus and has at least 2 year head start on Oakland–if MLB establishes shared territory before the end of the year the SJ ballpark could be completed by 2014 making the where to play in 2014 a moot point–

  10. David, its the degree. Just because two things share similar attributes, does not mean that they share the same amount of those attributes.

  11. @David: Yes, every city has crime on some level, but in 2009 Oakland had double the rate of violent crimes and murders than San Francisco while being a much smaller city population-wise. I’m not trying to pick on Oakland. It sucks that things are bad there, but to say that San Jose and San Francisco just put a better spins on their crime statistics is really off-base.

    .

    Just for clarity, “Western Addition” isn’t a neighborhood of SF despite what Wikipedia says. It’s a general region comprised of several neighborhoods. Hunters Point, the Tenderloin and patches of Outer Mission are the areas you don’t want to be in a certain points of the night.

  12. Question: Someone posted that the site wouldn’t produce a water view because MLB stadia have to face due north to due east (from the batter’s view). Looks like if they faced it due east, the third-base side fans would have a water view.

  13. Baltimore, Detroit and St. Louis has worse crime than Oakland. Detroit has: MLB, NFL and NBA teams.
    Also, Detroit is right out of Mad Max Thunderdome!

    • And those three towns don’t have San Francisoco and San Jose equivalents making them the THIRD largest city as well as economically weakest of their region .

  14. Has Oakland found private investors willing to spend $1 billion of their own money for the team, land and ballpark with no public or corporate support? Didn’t think so. Oakland, a high-crime city that is laying off police officers, is going to spend tens or hundreds of millions on a ballpark? Don’t think so. So they will need private investment in a place with poor corporate backing.

    • Has Oakland found private investors willing to spend $1 billion of their own money for the team, land and ballpark with no public or corporate support? Didn’t think so. Oakland, a high-crime city that is laying off police officers, is going to spend tens or hundreds of millions on a ballpark? Don’t think so. So they will need private investment in a place with poor corporate backing.

      Oakland was economically based on medical care , financial and law firms , traditional white collar smaller businesses that 50 years ago allowed you to be local wealthy elite – see Piedmont- more so than a Clorox here and there . Today, you just have to be a 236y/o siftware engr at the right start up and be worth more than 50 MDs will earn in their lifetimes before the latter even finish their medical residencies. And Silicon Valley is block to block loaded with this vast wealth.

  15. @David: Punctuation and butchering a Mad Max movie title. Those’re strikes 2 and 3. Yer out.

    .

    @baycommuter: This is just my take. Assuming that a ballpark can even be built against the waterfront at this site, the field could be oriented due east and still be open to the waterfront similar to AT&T Park. It’s contradictory that some jealous A’s fans who call AT&T gimmicky would be on Cloud Nine if the A’s had an identical ballpark/location.

    .

    Overall, great. It’s nice to know the A’s perceivably have other options if San Jose falls through. My concern is that this latest turn of events could somehow make this whole saga drag out even longer. If nothing else, this discussion at the Owners Meeting in December now has a new facet. I’m just gonna guess Lew Wolff doesn’t comment on this until the new year.

  16. It seems like Oakland feels entitled to the same deal Frisco got – a privately funded stadium. But PacBell Park was built in a much more high-profile city with far more money, at a time when the economy was booming. Oakland is broke and so is the country.

  17. @bRIGGS – this is A blog, not A reseArch pAper.

  18. @ST, Quan supported Victory Court before she was elected mayor. It is a good thing that someone in Oakland is at least putting in effort, let’s hope they start to get a lot more open about whatever process they are using to evaluate the site/overall deal.
    .
    @David: while I agree that crime, in and of itself, isn’t an issue that keeps teams major league teams from picking a particular city… I am pretty sick of two things you just did:
    .
    1. The Tri Valley isn’t part of Oakland. I live in the Tri Valley, and no one here, that I know, considers themselves residents of the greater Oakland area. Ditto for up 80 out to Fairfield, etc. There are more San Jose Sharks and San Francisco Giants season ticket holders on my block than A’s ticket holders.
    .
    2. Oakland has a huge crime problem. Statistics bear this out. Oakland citizens, for whatever reason, are much more comfortable blaming other people for having a bad perception of the City than accepting reality and taking action to change it. The best way to change perception is to change reality.

  19. Oakland’s NOP asks for feedback/comments by Dec. 9. The Winter Meetings are Dec. 6-9. Even if Oakland is just testing the waters, wouldn’t they want feedback earlier so that they can prep it for a press release? I’m sure there is at least one MLB ownership group would like to be familiar with the NOP’s comments in time for the Winter Meetings.

  20. SJ is using the SV “good name”. So, Oakland can include the surrounding area in its formula for attracting fans to the Athletic games. You are the “expert” on your block, but i know tons of A’s fans in the tri-valley area. Most of the A’s players live out there, during the season.

    I don’t commit crimes. Nor do my children. I pay taxes, follow the laws, so i’m doing my part.

  21. those “tons of A’s fans” living in Tri-Valley should have no problem going to San Jose to watch the A’s; much like (as Jeffrey alluded to) the Sharks season tix holders.

  22. Well it looks like there will be a battle between Oakland and San Jose for the A’s.

    The Victory Court site has MAJOR financing hurdles though and that includes the MAJOR redevelopment needed for that site. It will cost plenty of money and will MLB be willing to fork over some of the cost. The City of Oakland has some problems right now and taxplayers will not want to pay a dime of it.

    That whole area around Victory Court and Oak and 9th has potential, if it is developed into something nice with retail, residential buildings and park and walk areas. Just as long as the outfield faces the bay estuary and people can see the field from the outfield area as well.

    I still like SJ ahead of the Oakland (as of now at least) plans because SJ has more money (corporations) willing to support the A’s. The territorial rights is non issue IMO….MLB can buy the Giants out if need be, they did the same with Washington and Baltimore.

  23. San Jose is a city on the way up because of all the money in Silicon Valley….compared to Oakland which is continuing to struggle.

    Also, I hate the lies the Giants and their PR people spew regarding San Jose being “heart of Giant territory”??

    Total LIE….I’m sure the Giant fans in the Peninsula would have something to say about that huh?

  24. GoA’s says:
    November 17, 2010 at 7:03 AM GoA’s(Quote)
    like how the trib says all Oakland needs to do is complete an EIR and then they are equal with SJ—are they for real? SJ owns 80% of the land, has the money to complete the process, has a naming rights sponsor of $120M already committed, has been working with the neighborhoods to achieve concensus and has at least 2 year head start on Oakland–if MLB establishes shared territory before the end of the year the SJ ballpark could be completed by 2014 making the where to play in 2014 a moot point–

    ^^^^^^^^
    Exactly! SJ is still clearly in the lead ahead of Oakland in this race.
    Oakland is making it’s last run at it I think to just save face really and hope MLB decides to help with the significant costs.

  25. Jeffrey,

    There are plenty of people in Oakland from non-profits and charities to people like Men of Valor in East Oakland doing their best to reduce crime, poverty and recidivism rates. There are people out there besides OPD that is trying to change the reality of Oakland for the better. However, there is a gap between perception and reality when people make sweeping generalizing statements regarding crime in Oakland. Yes, Oakland does have a crime problem; but if you are not a drug dealer, gang member or prostitute and not in East Oakland or West Oakland the odds of being affected by crime are a lot lower.

    It might ludicrous, but I feel much safer in Downtown Oakland, Jack London Square and Chinatown at night than I do on Market Street in SF.

    There are plenty of positives in Oakland, the problem is, if you are an A’s fan, you see Oakland in its worst possible light every time you go to a game.

  26. Oakland is like the guy who show up at your store at 7:59 pm looking to spend an hour shopping right as the store owner is ready to flip over the “Closed” sign for an 8 pm closing. A bit annoying and after the fact. Oakland has had 15-20 years to do something and is trying to get in under the wire now? Unless Oakland has the investors ready to spend $1 billion, then all this is just a waste of time. Maybe Oakland will have an explanation for wrecking the existing stadium against the A’s wishes, firing the city manager years ago for proposing a downtown ballpark, doing nothing on the North of the Coliseum proposal. etc.

  27. @pjk: Yes, but a new mayor can always start fresh and blame predecessors for lack of action. San Francisco had a strong mayor in Dianne Feinstein who found a stadium site that was railroad property and totally tied up, then two weak ones in Agnos and Jordan when nothing got done, then another strong one in Willie Brown who was able to push through the stadium. Could Oakland do similar? Who knows. My money would be on San Jose, but if MLB won’t allow it, Oakland could be viable. The Bay Area has no lack of billionaires.

  28. Excellent improvements to the SJ Diridon Station Ballpark design by the way!

    I knew there was something aestheticly wrong with the way the left seats and grandstands looked in the first design released, and you made the necessary upgrades.

    It was all about angles really. Your revised design is a much needed one and is a HUGE improvement. Glad you lowered the wall to 36 feet also.

    Keep up the good work. Looks there will indeed be somewhat of a battle between the San Jose view of the downtown SJ skyline for the Diridon Station ballpark plan and Oakland new Victory Court ballpark plan they are trying to move forward with, which is a whole redevelopment plan which will cost PLENTY of money, that Oakland does not have to keep both the A’s and Raiders really.

  29. Kenny, I don’t doubt that there are safe places to hang in Oakland (I hang in several of them from time to time). I know there are more good apples than bad. That said, crime problems in Oakland are not just a matter of perception and it is disingenuous of people to present them as such.
    .
    David, I am one of those many A’s fans in the Tri Valley. My point wasn’t that there aren’t A’s fans in the Tri Valley, it is that those fans can served as easily by a park in the South Bay. If you consider a park at Victory Court v Diridon the travel time will be pretty much the same from Pleasanton. I drive to both pretty frequently, it is a difference of about 5 minutes.
    .
    Either way, I am buying season tickets at whichever stadium actually happens.

  30. If the numbers penciled out equally for both, then it would be a race. Instead, MLB may be looking at Oakland as a contingency plan if San Jose goes wrong. That would be the smart play. Don’t look into every little piece of news as an indicator of change. The EIR process is much too long to do that. Just like the election results, MLB can’t really be swayed much by what is at this point a wild card.

    For instance, why the 12/9 deadline for comments? RDA is bound by CEQA law to have at least a 30-day comment period. That’s it. Comments by themselves can’t influence anything. Actions based on those comments might.

    Put it this way. Let’s say the A’s are up 8-1 in the 9th and bring in H-Rod, who promptly gives up a single and a triple, making the score 8-2 with a runner on third. Do you bring in the infield and warm up Bailey? Of course not, you play back and give up the run for an out. And hope that H-Rod doesn’t unleash a flurry of walks.

  31. re: The Bay Area has no lack of billionaires.

    I’ve not seen any group of investors come forward ready to spend $1 billion on the team, land and ballpark sans any corporate or public support. All I’ve heard is wishful thinking nonsense about people wanting Larry Ellison to do it.

  32. This is thing.

    MLB would like to have Oakland keep the A’s IF there was a VIABLE and REALISTIC way where MLB would not have to help the city significantly to pay for it….since Taxplayers will not pay for it…..but the chances of that are not good.

    San Jose has everything the A’s and MLB wants in a city which is going to house a MLB baseball team. They HAVE CAPITAL and the Silcon Valley coporate sponsorships to back the A’s up and buy premium seating.

    The ONLY hurdle really for SJ is the Giants territorial rights issue. MLB can buy that out and void it in the “best interest of baseball” just like they did with the Washington and Baltimore. By the way, the A’s were gracious enough to allow the Giants those rights back in the early 90’s so they can try and get their ballpark. Out of common courtesy, the Giants should do the same now anyway.

  33. San Jose has EVERYTHING MLB would want the A’s franchise to have as a host city.

    Oakland doesn’t have EVERYTHING the A’s need in this day and age…..not even close actually.

  34. @dknight007 – All right, that’s enough SJ boosterism. The post is about Oakland, not SJ.

  35. Way to waste City funds Oakland on an EIR that will never do your city any good.

    At the end of the day no one can force Wolff and Fisher to spend $500 million of their own money on a stadium just because someone picked a site and completed an EIR around it.

    Wolff has known about Victory Court for years and I am sure he will publicly come out very soon and state why he never built there.

    It is obvious the freeway infrastructure in that area is so bad there is no way they can approve an EIR without a major overhaul on the 880 freeway exits that flow into the stadium.

    They would have to remodel their current exits and then perhaps add more in what is already a “tight” area land wise.

    Oakland needs to step aside and see if San Jose fails first. I highly doubt San Jose will fail as with Silicon Valley $$ and a Downtown site already in place.

  36. Sid, the EIR is not a waste. Even if a ballpark isn’t built at Victory Court, something should be. The EIR will explore alternatives as well as a ballpark. It can be used for other developments.

  37. I’m not all about SJ at all. I would love to see them stay in Oakland IF it makes sense and if it is better for the future of the A’s organization as a whole.

    In the end I just want to see them get a new ballpark here in the Bay Area and stay here. No to moving to Sacramento, Las Vegas or freakin Portland or something looney like that.

  38. Sid says:
    November 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM Sid(Quote)
    Way to waste City funds Oakland on an EIR that will never do your city any good.

    At the end of the day no one can force Wolff and Fisher to spend $500 million of their own money on a stadium just because someone picked a site and completed an EIR around it.

    Wolff has known about Victory Court for years and I am sure he will publicly come out very soon and state why he never built there.

    It is obvious the freeway infrastructure in that area is so bad there is no way they can approve an EIR without a major overhaul on the 880 freeway exits that flow into the stadium.

    They would have to remodel their current exits and then perhaps add more in what is already a “tight” area land wise.

    Oakland needs to step aside and see if San Jose fails first. I highly doubt San Jose will fail as with Silicon Valley $$ and a Downtown site already in place.

    ^^^^^^^
    The Victory Court 880 freeway would have to be renovated BIG TIME, whenever I drive by there I wonder how bad the traffic will be IF they actually build the ballpark at the Victory Court site.
    The backup would be TERRIBLE on weeknight games.

    They would also need to build at least two more freeway on/off ramps that ease the terrible congestion on weeknight games at 7pm during rush hour.

    if people of Fremont thought Pacific Commons would be bad due to traffic….imagine the Victory Court mess? Ugh

  39. Looking at homicide rates for 2010 so far for Oakland and San Jose, Oakland has 74 and San Jose has 19. It comes out to 16.6 homicides / 100000 people for Oakland and 1.9 for San Jose.

    If the trend for homicides for the last month and a half corresponds to the previous 10 and 1/2 months, the number of homicides percentage wise will have dropped considerably for both Oakland and San Jose from the previous year.

  40. @SantaTeresaHills – Homicide rates have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the EIR process. Let’s keep this discussion on the rails.

  41. Well it’s the waning hopes of a miraculous comeback, and unless Quan has a staff of 9 Jack Custs, we’re probably not going to walk this one into a win. Maybe she’s telegraphing that the A’s would have the city’s support over the Raiders?

    @Jeffrey/ML didn’t you guys say that these T-rights issue was different from the Washington-BMore issue? I thought it was a very gray area that MLB owners didn’t want to get into because it would place a real-time value on T-rights which could help/hurt other owners assets value.

    If true, I’m sure the MLB commission and Bud would like nothing more than to avoid a backlash from other owners.

    From my experience I like the VCourt area. Rowed with Oakland Strokes and sunsets along the Estuary are pretty great – nice place to put a ballpark. TONS of stuff to fix especially with 880, but that needed fixin anyways.

    I’m not the one doing the leg work here, so it’s no sweat off my brow. The fan in me wants the A’s in Oakland, but the sober-rational person says San Jose is probably close to done-deal.

    • TONS of stuff to fix especially with 880, but that needed fixin anyways.

      Caltrans has been doing some seismic retrofitting on 880 at 5th Ave near Victory Court:
      http://i880corridor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=7
      http://i880corridor.com/images/stories/Documents/5th%20ave%20detailed%20design%209-15-10.pdf

      Any idea as to how this might affect any future freeway remodeling if the A’s were to build at the VC site, or if it’ll throw a wrench into any ballpark plans?

      • @sharkie510 – There may be some schedule overlap in that the 880 project finishes up in mid-2013. Chances are that ballpark construction at Victory Ct would have to be underway by that point. Though by the beginning of 2013 it’s likely that much of the staging area used for the 5th Ave retrofit won’t be needed anymore, so RDA could start working on the acquiring and using that land for the ballpark. The retrofit does not address on/off-ramp changes that would be needed. The biggest change is that the higher and wider structure will actually cut into some of the ballpark area. There’s no telling how much of the project area RDA will be willing to (able to) buy, so it’s too early to say whether or not the widening aspect will have an impact.

  42. Rumor has it the A’s are offering Beltre 5 years and $64 million. I know it’s off topic, but if true, could the A’s willingness to dole out that much money for that many years indicate that ownership knows a new ballpark is assured? (in SJ, presumably)

  43. Can I get some clarification on EIR in general? Does the EIR take a general survey of the particular land or does each project/prosal of the the land require it’s own EIR? In other words, would a ballpark plan and a water park plan require different EIRs on the same land?

  44. @Jeffrey- Great point on the EIR being able to be used for other things. I always figured that the EIR would have to be re-done for each project as then the scope would change.

    But if they can simply adjust it without having to completely re-do it then that is a good thing I agree.

    @Briggs- I think based on what Jeffrey said above they can simply adjust the EIR and the moving parts and make it happen. That way they would not have to do a brand new one…I THINK.

  45. @dknight007- Exactly my point on the traffic problem that is there now and would only get worse with a ballpark.

    Even weekend games would get jam up 880 pretty good in that area. If I was Wolff I would not build there either.

  46. Relative to the EIR—maybe I am way off but an EIR done for a 40,000 seat ballpark would not suffice if the use was changed to high density residential with commercial/retail. The SJ EIR had to have a supplemental component (SEIR) over changed traffic predictions. Also, not sure of what the shelf life is of an EIR with how rapidly regulations change. Bottom line is without a ballpark VC will not change from what it is today for a very very long time….I could accept the investment as prudent if the site was actually a viable site for the A’s from an economic perspective (i.e- land acquisition costs, cost to relocate existing businesses, and infrastructure costs)—its not—in reality this strikes as another delay tactic by Oakland to try and show they are doing something while in reality nothing has really changed. As I recall Jeffrey did a post on what Oaklands true strategy is….and this latest example fits it perfectly.

  47. interesting … when pro-Oaklanders speculate around Wolff’s intentions, we get shouted down. But, many, pro-SJ folks seem to know quite clearly, the intentions of Oakland officials (e.g., stalling).

  48. The problem with “pro-Oaklanders” is they are upset with Wolff instead of the public officials they elected, who have been dismissing the A’s for 15+ years now. Anybody see Wolff build Mount Davis? Or see him fire the city manager for suggesting a downtown ballpark? Didn’t think so. Oakland and Alameda County officials are responsible for all this, not Wolff.

  49. @David- Oaklank’s biggest cheerleader Newhouse says VC is not viable….Jeffrey suggested to jk that he contact the owners of the sites at VC–ask what they are willing to sell for (if they are) and what the cost of relocation would be…if a site doesn’t pan out as economically viable than what is the reason to pursue it….because it is better than no site at all and investing $500k -$1M in an EIR can be construed as doing something in the hope that LW gets tired and goes away–in my book thats a stall not a strategy..

  50. Oakland is just trying to delay the inevitable IMO.

    I thought the best site would have been JLS West actually. Having the Ballpark at the Estuary has the potential to be really nice…..but that whole area needs to be redeveloped with some retail/restaurants/bars/walkways/parks/rec activities/adding or renovating freeway off ramps/build commercial and condos.

  51. pjk says:
    November 17, 2010 at 3:36 PM pjk(Quote)
    The problem with “pro-Oaklanders” is they are upset with Wolff instead of the public officials they elected, who have been dismissing the A’s for 15+ years now. Anybody see Wolff build Mount Davis? Or see him fire the city manager for suggesting a downtown ballpark? Didn’t think so. Oakland and Alameda County officials are responsible for all this, not Wolff.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Exactly!

  52. see what i’m saying?

  53. re: see what i’m saying?

    If you’re saying San Jose advocates are refuting the “Wolff s evil and it’s all his fault” arguments, then what do you expect?

  54. @David–take the Jeffrey challenge and than come back and show it makes economic sense—and than I will support you–but to continue to play victim gets old man…very old

  55. There is no one person that posts or comments here that can figure out the economic plan. That’s up to Oakland boosters, and to a lesser extent, MLB. The onus is on them.

    I don’t see why SJ boosters should be so agitated about Oakland. If SJ is clearly superior and more feasible all factors included, what Oakland does shouldn’t matter.

  56. @ML–it matters if BS and MLB step back and say ok–lets see what you can do…again…and than 2 years from now we are here with an EIR but no way in hell to make anything happen—2 years and going on this thing…its time to move forward…if Oakland wants to spends its money on a back up plan more power to them…but if it continues to delay the development of the ballpark in SJ which is viable than I more than a little agitated by it

  57. i appreciate all the work done by the editors and contributors, of this site.

    @GoA’s – you can take that to someone else … i ain’t takin’ nobody’s “challenge”. Nothing on here matters in the end.

    This site is going to be fun this winter!

  58. When there is a even a sliver of pro-Oakland news, the SJ folks all feel the need to dismiss it. When something goes well for SJ, Oakland partisans call Lew Wolff a liar and carpetbagger. I fully appreciate the fact that negotiating this issue internally for Selig and the owners is no picnic. I’ve devoted 1000 posts and half a million words to this. If there’s anyone that should be agitated, it’s me. I’m not. It’s going to play out, and we’ll move forward.

    @David – I wouldn’t get too excited about the winter. Once work starts in earnest, we probably won’t hear anything about the EIR work for 3-6 months, not to mention the impact of MLB’s possible decision.

  59. @ML–fair enough–but when the number one Oakland cheerleader dismisses the site it’s a bit difficult not being skeptical and given Oakland’s track record here….but your right…it is going to play out and I will step out of the frey and wait until the expected decision in early December-

  60. To be fair, I have taken my own challenge and got nowhere. I don’t really expect anyone who reads the site to go out and play journalist.
    .
    Victory Court is a site I am torn about. On the one hand, at least it has some political support in Oakland. On the other hand, JLS is one of my least favorite spots in Oakland because it it doesn’t feel connected to anything and is a real pain in the ass to get to and around. On the other hand, it has way more potential than the Coliseum. Back to other hand, it isn’t “really” a waterfront are, more like a “canal front.”
    .
    I just wish a shovel was hitting the dirt, like yesterday. No matter where.

  61. @David, the “stalling” bit is my fault. I actually talked to an Oakland official who explained the strategy as such. I posted about it in an article titles “The Miner and the Bomb.”

  62. There are already some business interests coming out against Victory Court. That link is to KCBS where I first heard the story. Should be an interesting debate in the Town.

  63. GoA’s says:
    November 17, 2010 at 4:14 PM GoA’s(Quote)
    @ML–it matters if BS and MLB step back and say ok–lets see what you can do…again…and than 2 years from now we are here with an EIR but no way in hell to make anything happen—2 years and going on this thing…its time to move forward…if Oakland wants to spends its money on a back up plan more power to them…but if it continues to delay the development of the ballpark in SJ which is viable than I more than a little agitated by it

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Agreed. No point in delaying the inevitable. All is does is draw out the A’s getting a new Ballpark in the Bay Area….which they need ASAP!

  64. My question is, does VC matter at this point? They’re going to take 6 months minimum to just finish an EIR on a site that may or may not be feasible. I thought MLB was going to be making a decision in the next 60 days?

  65. @Jeffery If you Google the name of the business owner in that report, it looks like he is located in the area of Oak to Ninth that won’t be redeveloped. So he’s not exactly in the proposed site. Still a valid point though, there will be a good amount of debate.

  66. Would the retrofit cause any complications in addressing the on/off-ramp issue in the future though? I’m pretty sure Caltrans probably didn’t have a ballpark (and thus adding and/or improving on/off-ramps) in mind when planning this whole retrofit….

  67. @Eric, I know East bay Restaurant Supply isn’t entirely down with moving in order for the project to happen. It is a shame that it has taken this long to even get to this point.

  68. @sharkie, The EIR will answer that question, my gut feeling is that it won’t address the issues that make traffic an issue. Really because the challenge is more than just a freeway off ramp.

  69. Has anyone spoken to Corey Busch? He is the only gentleman from the Bay Area on the stadium advisory board. You would think he would have a lot of influence on Bud Selig.
    What is he thinking?

  70. I believe Corey Busch (and the other fellows on the committee) are sworn to secrecy. They haven’t said anything publicly

  71. Ethan,
    CB was a SF Giants executive back in 1992 when they themselves were trying to relocate to SJ. He also worked very closely with former SJ mayor Susann Hammer, who now co-leads Baseball SJ.
    CB himself knows the territorial history of the Bay and how lucrative SJ/SV can be for the A’s and MLB.
    We often hear about SJ Redevelopment officials talking to MLB and how “impressed” they are with SJ’s plans; my gut feeling is that SJ is talking with Mr. Busch.

  72. Well Corey once was a campaign manager for Barbara Boxer. He could be an ally for Oakland. Also worked with the Giants when San Jose was awarded the territory. Interesting stuff. How can we provide input to him?

  73. @Ethan: Probably through MLB.com “Contact Us”

    .

    Honestly, this is an issue where we follow the news, not make it. I highly doubt anything any fan can supply to Cory Busch will make the least bit of difference.

  74. Agree with Briggs,
    I doubt being the campaign manager for Boxer would have any bearing on this, as it has no influence on the economic realities of the Bay Area or MLB’s/A’s future.

  75. @Ethan/Briggs–i always wondered what Corey’s influence would be, if it was more pro-Oakland or what? A bunch of us from LGO e-mailed Jean Quan after she was announced mayor, wishing her well and don’t forget our beloved A’s. She calls MLB the next day saying she’d fight for the A’s. So maybe the fans are heard. She’d do it eventually, but the next day after she’s announced mayor? She also realizes time is of the essence and not to lollygag around like Dellums, who still hasn’t woken up after his deep 4 year sleep.

  76. Jk,
    While a firmly believe all this OAK/VC “breaking news” is insignificant, I also believe Quan acted on her own in contacting MLB.
    Let’s not forget; she is first and foremost the mayor of OK and put in office to serve them/their needs, not A’s fans who reside outside of Oak city limits.

  77. @Tony–i spend a lot of time and money in Oakland and have worked several jobs there the last 30 years, but don’t live there. I’m glad my $50 contribution may have helped her well organized grass roots campaign, rather than Wolff/Fischer’s $25K to Perata’s political machine’s negative assault.

  78. @jk Dellums is a lollygagger? That almost sounded like a criticism of Oakland!

  79. @Jeffrey I don’t know what you’re getting at, but there is a difference between an estuary and a canal. Both of which consist of water anyway, therefore “waterfront”. I’m not sure if you were trying to say the Oakland Estuary isn’t a legitimate waterfront, because if so that is a pretty rediculous attempt to knock down the Victory Court site.

  80. @Ralph – Jeffrey is referring to Lake Merritt Channel, not the Estuary. The ballpark can’t be on the Estuary anyway due to the railroad tracks and The Embarcadero. There is a siting problem in that due to the wedge shape of Victory Court, to push the ballpark closer to the Channel would also force it closer to the tracks and a newly widened, higher 880 bridge. Don’t look for a grievance where none exists.

  81. @ML Don’t assume I’m looking for a grievance, that’s why I worded it with uncertainty. I was just curious what his implication was. The reference to the Lake Merritt Channel makes sense.

  82. @Ralph – No, you were only leaning in that direction. BTW – you could’ve easily answered your own question by looking at an aerial photo.

  83. why the hostility ML?

    • @Jared S – It’s the occasional realization that 90% of the comments provide no value on this site, yet I have to read every single one of them. I’d rather be working on post material.

  84. Hi ML-

    I absolutely love this site! Thanks for all of your great posts detailing this massive mess that is the San Jose ballpark.

    Just caught this on http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/18/EDS21GDTO1.DTL

    Specifically:

    “Recent efforts to move the A’s to the Diridon Station area in San Jose will probably prove futile because Major League Baseball owners will most likely veto any attempt to poach territorial rights already granted to the San Francisco Giants. Furthermore, BART will not serve that area for decades.”

    Since you are pretty “in-the-know”, is there any real truth to this or is it just reporter speculation?

  85. Not at all looking for a grievance, just wanted to see if he really thought that (about the estuary) which you cleared up. I didn’t see he was referring to the Lake Merritt Channel, that was my bad. I know the park can’t literally be right on the estuary, but it’s close enough to it that some would consider it a waterfront park. That’s why I had a misunderstanding.

  86. @Pastor Phil – With all due respect to Mr. Grunwald, who has contributed here (we were the first site to actually publicize the 980 option), it’s a mistake to make such a declarative statement about T-rights without real insight into the commissioner’s thoughts. And as much as I like the 980 site, it faces a severely uphill battle politically, especially since MLB has already discounted it early in the process. Bryan was the first to say the game was rigged for Victory Court.

  87. Phil, I’d take an editorial in the San Francisco paper with a grain of salt. You’re reading something from a biased person (who is not a reporter) in a biased newspaper.

  88. Thanks Dan and ML-

    I figured I had missed something from the MLB owner’s meeting this week. I’m glad to hear that SJ is still in the running.

    Yes, I’m a pro SJ guy…

  89. The owners had a meeting this week? (sarcasm). I guess they did meet yesterday and today, but I have yet to read anything about anything from the meetings (if in fact they did meet). Heard anything R.M.?

  90. All I’ve heard is that they are gung-ho for expanding the playoffs. To that I say: Yuck! They seem hell-bent on rendering the 162-game regular season meaningless, while attempting to play baseball until Thanksgiving.

  91. ML,

    I didn’t say “it faces a severely uphill battle politically, especially since MLB has already discounted it early in the process.”

    Moreover, there is no evidence that MLB has studied or dismissed the 980 Park location; despite the conclusionary statements made by City Staff. I have repeatedly asked City Staff for MLB site selection criteria, previous studies on the 980 Park site with no response, and their rational for dismissing it.. Talk about lack of transparency.

    As for the San Jose site ballpark parking. I have been told one of MLB criteria, from Petco Park, is 500-800 dedicated parking spaces for VIP’s and day gamers. In order to get a parking district to finance these parking spaces, they have to be in a location where you can rent the spaces to office workers or folks attending evening venues nearby. This would be hard for the VC and San Jose sites. So you would have to add the parking to the site cost at about $30K a space less baseball only revenue, which would be small considering 81 home games. That’s why a parking garage at 980 Park could be financed by the parking district.

    Yeh the game has been rigged. But Mayor elect Jean Quan will have to look closely at the numbers. She wants jobs and economic development, but she won’t do a Coliseum-like subsidy like Perata.

  92. @Bryan – The “severe uphill battle” comment was mine, not yours. The only thing I’ve attributed to you was the “game is rigged” comment.

    As for the parking requirement, in San Jose it will probably be filled by utilizing the 4 acres at the southern end of the Diridon site. They may even have enough space that a garage won’t be required.

  93. For surface parking, figure 100 cars per acre. So if you have 4 acres you can park 400 cars there. Not enough, probably need twice as many or more, because San Jose is so suburban and may never have BART. That will be a subsidy of $25M less ballpark parking fees brought to present value. No body else will park there during the day unless the rates are super low.

  94. @Bryan – You seem to think these requirements are set in stone. I assure you they are not. That’s why the size of the stadium has changed frequently. That’s why a stadium club is being eschewed. That’s why a parking garage option nearby has been dropped. 400 spaces may not be “enough,” but it’s better than 800 for several million dollars more, no matter who’s paying for it.

  95. Mr. Grunwald,
    You’re really, really reaching in trying to paint Diridon South as not viable. You should quit while you’re already way behind.
    FYI, even if you completely took BART out of the Diridon South equation, you’d still have VTA light rail/bus, Caltrain, Amtrak CC, ACE, future high-speed rail and thousands of parking slots downtown to accommodate fans.
    By the way, downtown San Jose “suburban”? Like I said, quit while you’re behind.

  96. “Not enough, probably need twice as many or more, because San Jose is so suburban and may never have BART. ”

    Wow, even their white-collar professionals stoop to this bullshit…

  97. tony d., thanks for your reply. Public transit in Santa Clara County is the worst ridership per mile in the nation. See attached.http://21stcenturyurbansolutions.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/bay-area-transit-efficiency-how-bart-caltrain-vta-light-rail-and-muni-metro-stack-up/

    Moreover, many of the lines up the Peninsula will poach Giant’s fans. If MLB required 800 spaces for San Diego, with a well performing transit system. As a result maybe a SJ Ballpark will need more than 800 spaces in comparison to San Diego for VIP’s and day gamers if they can get the. The agency still has to pay for Autumn Expressway and possibly freeway ramp upgrades. Maybe Oakland could get away with 400 spaces because of it excelling transit system that has it’s crossroads in Oakland at BART’s 12th Street Station. One of MLB first criteria is that the ballpark be near viable transit. As for HSR and all the opposition to it going up the Peninsula which will make it unaffordable.

    Suburban because the residential density per square mile is very low in comparison to the current A’s fan base.

    I hate deride the Diridon ballpark but it is such a poor location. Just for starters, it’s a mile from the center of Downtown, the Pavillion after you have walked under the freeway.

    980 Park is affordable and accessible. We should all get behind it if we want to keep the A’s in the Bay Area.

  98. What the hell did I just [try to] read?

    – Your link analyzes light rail ridership, something Oakland doesn’t even have. You’re comparing something to nothing. VTA bus ridership is nowhere near worst in the nation.

    – San Jose metro area is actually third densest in the country. San Francisco/Oakland is just ahead. I guess that drop from #2 to #3 is a deal-breaker?

    – Not sure what “Autumn Expressway” is, except perhaps your terminology to spin a simple city street into a massive infrastructure project.

    – The site is a mile from downtown? Really? Maybe, someday, maps will be readily available online so you can check your facts.

  99. @tonyD–and downtown SJ is urban? It’s not quite as suburban like the Fremont planned park which failed,. but not quite as urban like most big city’s downtown. So we can say that it’s semi-Urban,or Sub-Urban. Just look at that skyline? 2nd rate to say the least. Looks like Fresno north.
    BTW, Mr. Grunwald knows more about this stuff than almost anybody on here, even ML, who’s just a blogger. Mr. Grunwald does this for a living–Urban Planning and Architecture for Downtown Revitiliazation, Waterfront Properties and Planned Communities, so show some a little respect, even though you disagree with him, and want Oakland to fail and SJ to succeed.

  100. @ jk-usa: I know this is the internet and all, but rein it in a little. I like this site and the level of discussion is pleasantly high. We’re just following the news here, not making it. This isn’t a competition. We’re discussing, making educated speculation and asking informed questions. You’ve already made it clear you want the A’s to stay in Oakland, but no one here controls where the A’s are going and repeated hijacking discussions with slanted remarks doesn’t do anything advance anyone’s understanding of this whole ballpark saga. There’s no need to keep spamming your point of view. Think of it this way, what if every single person on this board kept repeating hostile remarks? The it’d be useless. Just follow the golden rule.

  101. @Bryan – You’re a little behind on what the City of San Jose is doing. The Autumn Parkway project was scaled down significantly since it was originally planned. It’ll be a simple two-way, four-lane with a median boulevard. The most expensive part was supposed to be the railroad crossing, which will in fact be an at-grade crossing with gates. This is because only 3 trains runs through that area per day, allowing the city to get an exception. The City is not planning to build any parking near the ballpark. This is partly due to budget constraints, but it’s also due to the fact that if they don’t build parking, they can utilize existing on/off-ramps, turn lanes, etc.

    HP Pavilion is not just on the other side of 87. It’s 0.52 miles from Market Street. The Diridon site? 0.60 miles. There’s no need to spout off random, incorrect figures to take down other site concepts. All sites should be judged strictly on their own merits.

  102. Mr. Grunwald,
    Since, according to jk, you know more about this kind of stuff then anyone here, why do you continue to ignore the facts regarding Diridon South?
    Again, the site currently offers VTA light rail bus (current ridership figures are completely irrelevant), Caltrain from the Peninsula, Amtrak CC/ACE from East Bay, and in future BART and HSR.
    Diridon South’s transit connectivity is currently outstanding and by 2020 will be unparralled in Northern California.
    By the way jk, there are many an urban expert/developer (Wolff among them) who would wholeheartedly disagree with Mr. Grunwalds assessment, so don’t give me this crap about respect.

  103. Zennie Abraham chimes in, thinks Victory Court will cost $600 million.

    The other problem is that the City must use redevelopment money to build the stadium, but the stadium itself must be 51 percent owned by the private sector. Otherwise, the deal will not work; the City Council will not go for it. The housing units, alone, add a large cost to the development. 400 units is more affordable that 700 units.

    So, you may ask, why did the City of Oakland know about this? Hubris. This effort to build a new stadium is led by Senator Barbara Boxer’s son Doug Boxer, who’s on the Oakland Planning Commission. The problem with Doug is, and I state this publicly, one of ego. His less-than-desirable behavior in not bringing all of the parties together when we had four different groups meeting about the A’s issue at once, including Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums sports task force, that I was on, and Dellums lack of interest in solving the problem, is the reason why Oakland’s taken so long to get to this point.

    Oakland, the City of Oakland, is personality-driven, and lacking an organization that the public can identify that is out there leading the charge to get a stadium built. Like a sports commission, for example. Instead, what we get are people who think they know what they’re doing, refusing to listen to those who do because of experience, and making a ton of mistakes along the way.

    This one of those rare situations where I agree with Zennie. Too many people are trying to push their own agenda, and it seems that whomever controls the process wins. All of these disparate voices may all have very good intentions, but it’s no way to build a consensus. Jean Quan’s reputation is as a consensus-builder. We’ll see how that works out.

  104. Jim, downtown Oakland and downtown San Jose are really quite alike in size and scale. A tabletop skyline is no indicator of ubranity.

  105. Bryan, why not have Oakland get behind 980?

  106. Jeffrey,

    I am trying to overcome the usual patronage in Oakland politics. The local developers have bought up the City Council.

    Only hope I have, is to have the Planning Commission reconfigure the EIR Notice of Preparation to include two “proposed actions” in EIR parlance. Not alternatives. With two proposed actions, both or one could be certified at the end of the EIR process. 12 months or more. I believe the 980 Park may be certified before Victory Court because of the community support I have obtained. Including all the community, business and environmental groups surrounding both sites. In general, they prefer 980 Park over Victory Court for reasons of traffic and parking impact, treat of eminent domain and cost.

    I would need a continuance of the Planning Commission Public Hearing on December 1 for the City Staff to add 980 Park as a parallel “proposed action”. Given that the VC site was cooked up behind close doors without community participation, I think this is a reasonable request.

  107. So is Oakland expecting the A’s to build the stadium with no public support? Oakland feels entitled to the same deal Frisco got – a privately funded stadium. But Oakland aint Frisco and PacBell Park was built when the economy was booming. As long as Oakland does not have investors willing to spend $1 billion on the team, land and ballpark (with no corporate or public support) then the whole Victory Court thing is just spinning wheels. Wolff does not want to build a privately funded ballpark in Oakland. Which means if that is the only choice offered to him by MLB, then he puts the team up for sale and no one comes forward willing to do the project under the conditions I just stated. And the stalemate continues until the team leaves the Bay Area and the fabulous San Jose option goes completely to waste.

  108. @Bryan- The 980 site needs major work and is in a less than desirable neighborhood if you drive by there.

    If 980 or ANY SITE in Oakland for that matter was viable and had the possibility of being successful you do not think the BRC would have brought this up?

    The problem lies on several fronts and Zennie Abraham points out the major problems from the Oakland political end as one of the major issues.

    The other 2 issues are:
    1. Viable site in Oakland
    2. Paying for the stadium without public money

    There are zero viable sites in Oakland for the simple reason of “who is going to pay for it?”

    Oakland does not have the private sector in their general area to build this privately. It is not happening period.

    San Jose on the other hand may have a more “suburban” site (Ha! not really, it is in downtown) but they have the private sector backing the project as evidenced by the SVLG letter to Bud Selig.

    Money talks and Money walks….period.

    San Jose has it while Oakland does not. Why do you think the SF Giants “Crybaby” over San Jose all the time?

  109. @Sid-The neighborhoods around 980 Park are what they are. In my opinion, certainly improving. Anybody really concerned about the neighborhood will park in the VIP garage and never have to touch the streets of Oakland–however that would be a shame. I think you will see a “ballpark village” much as in San Francisco and Denver. You know the neighborhood around Camden Yards was not so great until the ballpark arrive.
    -I think you are on the right track when you talk about money. If you put the ballpark construction cost aside–it is $350-450M and has to be privately financed. All the ballparks will be support on pile foundations over poor soils, so there is no cost difference between the substructure–much like the Giants ballpark was built over bay mud.
    –On the public side of the the equation is the site acquisition and infrastructure upgrades, parking subsidy, roadway improvements, etc. I have already gone on record stating that both VC and Diridon sites will cost the host city’s redevelopment agencies over $200M in subsidies factoring in land rent and some tax increment (over what currently exists).
    –980 Park will cost $25-30M for freeway ramp relocation and upgrades to keep traffic flowing as it does today. Land rent (using the sweetheart rent the Giants pay the Port of SF) and tax increment on a ballpark will generate over $8.2M/year–or capitalized value of over $100M. Four times the cost of the freeway mitigation cost. Now that is a good deal, with lots of coverage. The parking garage, also on the air rights would be self financed from parking fees because it is located within walking distance of the downtown office core and Uptown entertainment district.
    –Yes Money talks and Money walks–it will walk to the cheapest alternative in the same advertising market area. In the end, it is advertising that drives the deal.

  110. I don’t get the argument…..”That is a rough neighborhood so nobody will go to the games. Does anybody remember China Basin before the Giants built AT&T? I do. It was on the water but it was a horrible part of town. Now look at the area. The Giants built it and they (the developers not related to the Giants) came. As Bryan said Denver and Baltimore built a ballpark and it transformed certain districts in their cities.

  111. Bryan – You speak like that of a planning commission and not of a business owner: “it will walk to the cheapest alternative in the same advertising market area.” Isn’t what cheap got Oakland into this mess in the first place? instead of building a new stadium, Oakland decided to just construct the monstrosity that is Mt. Davis. The correct statement, is that the business flows to where the money is at. And as evident by Cisco’s 130 million dollar gesture as well as the SVLGs endorsement, the apparent money thus far is in SJ. Your views, like that of typical Pro-Oaklanders, is that the A’s are an Oakland entity and has the right to move, change owners, dictate whatever price you deem is fair. Unfortunately, you forget the bit that the A’s are owned and operated by JF and LW as tenants of Oakland and not your property. What are you dangling so that they are enticed to stay? Cheap alternatives?!!!!

  112. Cisco’s naming rights are $20-30M/ year, on a present value basis. Hardly a game changer.

  113. re: If you put the ballpark construction cost aside–it is $350-450M and has to be privately financed.

    And I’m still not hearing of any investor group ready to spend $1 billion on the team and ballpark in Oakland, with no corporate or public support. Oakland feels entitled to a privately financed ballpark like Frisco but no one is coming forward ready to offer that.

    MLB has foolishly locked itself out of the lucrative San Jose market and is stuck in the not-so-lucrative Oakland market. Nice move, MLB. But I guess we can’t force MLB to be intelligent if it wants to be stupid.

  114. Bryan, Cisco naming rights are part of the “private financing” and combined with the Silicon Valley Leadership Groups willingness to spend on tickets, etc, they are a huge game changer. Look at how AT&T Park was financed.

  115. @Bryan- Cisco has a 120-130 million dollar naming rights deal in place for San Jose. It is a “game changer” because you can take that contract to the bank and get a loan for 120-130 million using the contract as collateral. Of course you would pay interest but that finances 120-130M of the entire 460M project or about 25% of it. That is what the Giants did in 2000 with Pacific Bell at the time.

    I must say you are the first Pro-Oak person to speak with some sense and rational on this forum…for that much kudos to you!.

    Diridon will not be 200M in redevelopment funds as you cannot count the Autumn street expansion as that is going to be done anyways with or without the ballpark. Plus Diridon is due a major facelfit with HSR and BART coming in 10 years. San Jose in reality is spending around 50M or so on the land and they are going to buy it regardless of the A’s.

    Parking is not a problem in Downtown San Jose they have several existing structures less than 3 miles away from the site and the Sharks are going to build a new structure in their current lots behind the Arena.

    980 is not a great area while Downtown San Jose is just that…A downtown site that Oakland lacks that is centrally located to 4-5 major freeways.

    I agree advertising does drive the deal and San Jose and its 75 SVLG members who signed that letter to Bud Selig is exactly the “advertising” that will drive the deal to get done. Doug Boxer says he has 350k or so from East Bay Corporations but refuses to put out names….not good while SVLG has had their executives sign and put their names on the letter to MLB.

    Look, of all the 2 team markets (NY, LA, CHI) every single team contributes to revenue sharing except the A’s in Oakland.

    Is the Bay Area a 2 team market? Yes, if you place them in the 2 most financially lucrative areas of the market. That is San Francisco and San Jose by far and no one can really argue that Oakland is even close to these two cities in corporate support.

    I would not mind seeing a new ballpark in Oakland but it requires public money that is not there so we need to stop with the “pipe dream” and go with what reality states is feasible….That is the A’s coming to San Jose and staying the Bay Area for years to come.

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